MLB Rumors

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Jayson Nix becomes free agent after declining Triple-A assignment
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Royals infielder Jayson Nix has elected free agency after declining an assignment to Triple-A Omaha. Nix appeared in 41 games last season between the Phillies, Pirates and Royals.

He is a career .212 hitter with 38 home runs, 55 doubles and 130 RBI in 466 games.

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Report: Braves have talked with A.J. Pierzynski about backup role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Braves have talked to free agent A.J. Pierzynski about serving as their backup catcher, according to MLB.com. Pierzynski spent the 2014 season with Boston and St. Louis, batting .251 with five home runs and 37 RBI in 102 games.

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Phillies SP Cliff Lee cleared to start offseason throwing program
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee, who missed the final two months of the 2014 season due to a left elbow strain, has been cleared to begin his offseason throwing program, according to CSNPhilly.com. 

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lee would begin his offseason throwing program next Monday and be ready for the start of spring training.

"Originally we planned to have him throwing in mid-November, but we moved it back because he had been sick for about a week," Amaro said. "His strength is back now. His elbow feels good. He’s pain-free and doing great, ready to begin his normal throwing program on Dec. 1."

The Phillies are hopeful Lee, who was limited to 13 starts in 2014, is past his elbow problems.

"We think he’s over it," Amaro said. "He’s been able to do all his strength work and he hasn’t felt it at all. We’ll know more when he starts throwing."

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Hanley Ramirez agrees to deal with Red Sox
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Hanley Ramirez has agreed to a contract with the Red Sox, pending a physical, sources told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The terms of the deal are a four-year contract worth $88 million, a source told FOX Sports. The deal includes a fifth-year vesting option valued at $22 million.

Ramirez is expected to play in left field with the Red Sox also agreeing to a contract with third baseman Pablo Sandoval and with Xander Bogaerts remaining at shortstop for Boston.

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Josh Willingham opts to retire after 11 seasons in the majors
by Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Veteran outfielder Josh Willingham told ESPN on Monday he is retiring after 11 seasons in the majors. Willingham added he received a substantial offer from a contending club this offseason, but he still opted to retire.

"After praying on my decision many times and talking to my wife, my father and ex-players who have gone through the same process toward the end of their careers, I have decided to retire,'' Willingham said. "I felt like it wouldn't be fair to myself, and more importantly to the team that was paying me a lot of money to perform at a high level, if there was a chance my dedication would waver -- particularly as the season got longer. I'm honored to have played for as many years as I have, and I feel even luckier to walk away on my own terms instead of having the decision made for me.''

Willingham spent the 2014 season with the Twins and Royals. He also played for the Marlins, Nationals and Athletics in his career. Willingham hit .253 with 195 home runs, 216 doubles and 632 RBI in 1,147 games. Willingham was one of three AL outfielders in 2012 to win the Silver Slugger award.

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Mariners, Kyle Seager reach agreement on $100 million extension
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com

The Mariners and third baseman Kyle Seager have reached an agreement on a seven-year extension worth approximately $100 million, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports. The deal will include an eight-year option, per the report.

Seager, 23, posted career highs in home runs (25), RBI (96), batting average (.268), slugging percentage (.454) and OPS (.788) in 2014. He has a .262/.328/.429 slash through his first four seasons in the majors.

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Report: Braves among teams showing interest in David Ross
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Braves are among the teams that have expressed interest in veteran catcher David Ross, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ross played for Atlanta from 2009-2012.

Ross, who is a 13-year MLB veteran, hit .184 with seven home runs and 15 RBI in 50 games last season for Boston.

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Report: Marlins have discussed Eovaldi-Miley trade
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Marlins, who are seeking a veteran starting pitcher, have discussed trading starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi or a pitching prospect to the Diamondbacks for starting pitcher Wade Miley, according The Miami Herald.

Eovaldi was 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA in 33 starts last season, while Miley went 8-12 with a 4.34 ERA in 33 starts. Both players have four years of MLB experience.

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Twins, Torii Hunter have 'common interest'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Veteran outfielder Torii Hunter said Saturday he favors the Twins in free agency and he could make a decision soon about which team he signs with, according to the Pioneer Press.

"(Twins general manager) Terry Ryan and I have talked several times, and there's definitely a common interest there, for sure," Hunter said.

The Twins drafted Hunter in the first round of the 1993 draft. He appeared in games for Minnesota from 1997-2007 before playing for the Angels and Tigers. 

"I would come over to win," he said of his reasons for potentially returning to Minnesota. "All that stuff everybody talks about, 'a great guy in the clubhouse,' that's extra -- that's not No. 1. The No. 1 thing is look at my numbers. They're still the same, one of the most consistent hitters in baseball over my career.

"But sometimes I guess my character and clubhouse presence and just that fire that I have, I think, overshadows a lot. But no matter what, if I didn't put up those numbers, I don't care what kind of personality or drive you have, not many people are going to want you. The only reason you're going to want me is because of my play."

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Report: Melky Cabrera could be 'fallback option' for Orioles
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera could be a "fallback option" for the Orioles, if Baltimore doesn't re-sign outfielder Nick Markakis, multiple sources told MASNsports.com. He is on the Orioles' radar and the team has discussed signing him.

Cabrera has been previously linked to the Blue Jays, White Sox and Royals this offseason.

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